The West Black African Rhino was hunted to extinction in 2011, and the last passenger pigeon died in 1914, check out these 18 Animals lost to Extinction.
West Black African Rhino -- Weighing up to 2900 pounds (1300 kg), poachers hunted the animal for its horns which some cultures believe contain medicinal properties … although that has never been scientifically proven. The last West African Black Rhino was seen in 2006 in Cameroon. In 2011, it was declared officially extinct.
Javan Tiger -- Native to the Indonesian island of Java, these cats resembled the Sumatran Tigers. They were once so numerous that locals considered them pests. That was in the 1800s. By the 1950s, only 20 of these animals survived. Encroachment on its habitat and agricultural development diminished the Javan Tiger’s numbers.
Round Island Burrowing Boa -- It was once found burrowing on Round Island, off the coast of Mauritius (mar-rish-us) … you may recall that the Dodo also hailed from there, too. This snake was also found on other islands in the region. As its population dwindled, it could only be found on Round Island after 1949. Non-native species of goats and rabbits destroyed vegetation after being introduced to the island, eradicating the boa’s habitat. The snake was last seen in 1975.
Po-ouli (pow-ooley) -- Also known as a Black-Faced Honeycreeper, this animal native to Maui was discovered in the 1970s. But by 1997 only 3 known survivors remained. Efforts were made to mate the remaining birds, but those efforts failed. By 2004 the specially was formally declared extinct. What happened? Disease, predators and loss of habitat are blamed as reasons for the bird’s extinction.
Quagga (kwa-gaa) -- This animal was native to South Africa. As you might have guessed, they were actually a subspecies of the common plains zebra. Hunters coveted the animal for its brownish, partly striped hide which inspired some to call it a ‘horse tiger’. Hunting, along with competition from livestock for grazing land, led to the Quagga’s demise. The last of its kind died in the Amsterdam Zoo in 1883.
Tecopa (tek-cope-ah) Pupfish -- A fish living in the desert? The Tecopa Pupfish called the Mojave Desert its home, and was known to survive in water temperatures up to 108 (42c) degrees fahrenheit. But the animal’s habitat was spoiled after development in the mid-20th century and the Pupfish was extinct by 1970.
Madeiran (mad-aaron) Large White Butterfly -- This beautiful butterfly was native to the Laurisilva (lora silva) forest valleys on Portugal's Madeira (mad-day-ra) Islands. Pollution from agricultural fertilizers and construction leading to loss of habitat are major reasons for the species’ eradication. The Large White Butterfly, a close relative is still commonly found across Africa, Asia and Europe.
Bubal (bew-bal) Hartebeest -- Also known as the Bubal Antelope, Ancient Egyptians once used this animal for sacrificial purposes. It called North Africa home and was a common sight there. But European hunters steadily wiped out these beasts for sport and food. The last Bubal Hartebeest was a female and died in 1923 at the Paris Zoo. You can see her picture here.
Caribbean Monk Seal -- These seals had been aggressively hunted for their meat, fur and oil. It started with European explorers in the late 15th century, and the tradition was later continued by whalers and fishermen. The seals’ traditional habitats in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea were ravaged by coastal development and fishing operations, which also hastened their demise. The Caribbean Monk Seal was last seen in the early 1950s and declared extinct in 2008.
Pyrenean (peer-un-eon) Ibex -- The Ibex (or ee-bex) was once found throughout the Spanish, French and Andorran (and-door-un) Pyrenees (peer-un-nees). The population was decimated by hunting and the species went extinct in 2000. But in 2009, scientists used DNA from preserved skin samples and actually cloned a female Pyrenean Ibex! Unfortunately, the clone died from lung defects shortly after birth. What are some extinct animal species you’d like to see brought back to life? Leave a comment below!
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